Life Of A Brave: Unsung Hero Mr. Edgar Salmingo, Jr
by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief
Mr. Edgar Salmingo, Jr, an important member of the faculty and staff as the Vice Principal of Academic Affairs here at St. John Bosco High School, plays a key role to ensure that all school-related operations run smoothly. Despite not getting enough recognition as he should, he is extraordinarily committed to the Bosco community, as he spearheads efforts at Bosco to help students and teachers succeed.
Before arriving at St. John Bosco to embark on his journey of becoming a teacher in a Salesian setting, Mr. Salmingo believed he had a different calling as he navigated through life after graduating from college. Born into a family of five with two other siblings and growing up in both Hawthorne and Harbor City, California, Mr. Salmingo poured himself into his education as a kid, prioritizing school over all else.
After finishing middle school, Mr. Salmingo decided to attend Loyola High School, where he excelled as a student. Upon graduating from Loyola, he attended UC Irvine for his undergraduate degree, where he majored in Computer Engineering.
After getting his degree from UC Irvine, he attended Loyola Marymount University, where he got his Credential and Masters in Secondary Education. To further reflect his commitment to education, Mr. Salmingo currently attends Pepperdine University for his Doctorate in Learning Technologies.
Initially, Mr. Salmingo wasn’t drawn to Education as a career, first working at Apple as a Genius Administrator, or in layman’s terms, a Manager of the Repair Department for Apple Products. Despite being the Genius Administrator at Apple, which was a relatively stable job after finishing his studies, Mr. Salmingo felt as if he wanted to do more with his life.
“I wanted to do something more fulfilling. I left Apple to work in education because I was always interested in getting back into it and I felt like one of the best ways to help students was to oversee academics,” said Mr. Salmingo.
Beginning the transition into a career of education did not come without challenges for Mr. Salmingo after having been at Apple for around four to five years. However, pursuing a career of education brought him a sense of fulfillment he had never before experienced and once he became acquainted with his roles, he knew his true calling was finally revealed.
Prior to being hired at St John Bosco, Mr. Salmingo started his educational career at St. Anthony High School as a teacher, before going to Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary as the Director of Educational Technology. As he continued to climb up the ranks, Mr. Salmingo became the Associate Principal for Academic Life at La Salle High School, before being hired to his current role of Vice Principal of Academic Affairs at Bosco in 2017.
In his role as Vice Principal of Academic Affairs, Mr. Salmingo is an integral part of Bosco’s operations each and every day, even through the current circumstances with virtual learning. Despite his importance to the school, there are many who are unsure of what it is Mr. Salmingo does as the VP of Academic Affairs.
“My job is to work behind the scenes and put teachers and students in the best position to succeed. My job is really interceding on behalf of students, counselors and teachers, helping them with whatever they need,” said Mr. Salmingo.
Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Salmingo works behind the scenes with everyone on campus to ensure that everything runs smoothly for them, he maintains an important, steady and friendly presence on campus as he always lends a helping hand to those who seek it. A hard worker and true master at what he does, Mr. Salmingo has a great rapport with faculty, staff and students alike.
However, despite already having a very packed schedule with his role as Vice Principal of Academic Affairs, Mr. Salmingo commits himself to more than just his official capacity. After gaining an appreciation for it after having taught it at his previous schools, Mr. Salmingo coaches the Bosco Academic Decathlon team, which also participates in an affiliated program called the World Scholars Cup, a global and local academic competition program.
In his first year at Bosco, Mr. Salmingo flew to Barcelona, Spain with three scholars who qualified for the World Scholars Cup Global Rounds after their successes at the LA Regional Round. After the scholars did well in Barcelona, he flew with them to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut for the Tournament of Champions, where they again did well, a reflection of his coaching and teaching abilities.
Last year, Mr. Salmingo took 16 incredible scholars to Manila, Philippines for the World Scholars Cup Global Round, and took that same group of scholars to Yale University for the Tournament of Champions, for his second year in a row. Once again, the powerhouse program being built by Mr. Salmingo is a reflection of not just his coaching and teaching abilities, but the general kindness and mutual work that he puts in with his students as they compete in such rigorous competitions with students in California, the United States and abroad.
The joy that comes with teaching and leading the Academic Decathlon Program is a big reason why Mr. Salmingo chooses to make that extra commitment despite already being so busy with his original role at Bosco. However, Mr. Salmingo also sees his involvement with Academic Decathlon as a duty to help kids succeed and get to know the Bosco Community a bit more.
“If I don’t have the opportunity to be with the students and teach a class, I struggle to know the students I am serving,” said Mr. Salmingo.
In his personal life beyond Bosco, Mr. Salmingo relaxes and spends his personal time involved with his family, rooting for his favorite sports teams and devoting himself to creating materials for his Academic Decathlon students.
Despite constantly having a packed schedule in his various roles at Bosco as well as handling his duties as a student at Pepperdine, Mr. Salmingo tries to be the best person he can be off campus by doing things he loves.
Speaking of who he is as a father, brother, son and husband outside of Bosco, Mr. Salmingo didn’t hesitate to reflect on his individual ways of being and why he chooses to do the things he does at Bosco.
“I am a person that really cares about other people. I don’t feel like life is fulfilling unless I use my talents to help others. Life is short, but the happiest time of my life are with the people I love,” Mr. Salmingo said.
While constantly delving into educational subjects with his Academic Decathlon team and handling his responsibilities as Vice Principal of Academic Affairs, Mr. Salmingo certainly makes times for sports and is a typical Angelino in that regard.
“Being a Filipino growing up, it’s a common interest to love basketball. I’m a huge Laker fan,” Mr. Salmingo said.
Although he has great love and appreciation for the Lakers after watching greats such as Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant growing up, Mr. Salmingo might even be a bigger NFL fan, as he is a true die hard fan of the Carolina Panthers. Growing up in Los Angeles during a time when the city had no NFL team and seeing many choosing to root for the Cowboys and Raiders, Mr. Salmingo had the freedom to choose which NFL team he wanted to root for.
“I picked the Panthers because I didn’t want to be like others. I wanted to pick a team that was different from everyone else. I was actually lucky to be a blogger for the Panthers for various websites, such as USA Today and SB Nation,” said Mr. Salmingo.
A true unsung hero around campus, Mr. Salmingo has stayed committed to his roles at Bosco even through personal hardships, as he has lost a best friend in Mr. Eugene Fabiero, the former Band Director at Bosco, as well as his father within the past year and a half.
It certainly has not been easy for Mr. Salmingo to navigate through his personal life and his Bosco commitments as he has endured so much, yet he finds a way to continue to work hard and be present for both his students and colleagues alike.
In his fourth year at Bosco, Mr. Salmingo’s love for education and teaching has been amplified through the Salesian ways in which the school operates. After not having the traditional fun high school experience due to being so invested in his academics, Mr. Salmingo has always felt he has had some “unfinished business” in terms of being able to experience high school for what it truly is.
“I went to an all boy high school growing up, so I understand the challenges and fun that comes with attending a school like Bosco. I commuted from Harbor City to Loyola, so I didn’t have a social life. I never had a great high school experience, but I’ve come to appreciate the brotherhood at Bosco. My unfinished business is that I have had a better experience and that my work ensures other kids have a better experience too,” said Mr. Salmingo.
On a daily basis, Mr. Salmingo works extremely hard to ensure his colleagues and the students he serves have the best experience they can possibly have at Bosco, while also ensuring that things run as smoothly as possible so everyone may be able to succeed.
As he has navigated through challenges in his personal life, juggles his studies at Pepperdine and lends himself to his Academic Decathlon team and whatever they may need, he truly is the hero for many behind the scenes.
However, his work ethic, commitment to his family, his passion for teaching and his availability to the students and faculty which he serves does not go unnoticed. May the unsung hero have his praises sung by the community he so righteously, tirelessly and joyfully serves.